L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Allotment of disputed land to martyr’s kin annulled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
After months of tension over the allotment of 2.75 acres of a burial ground land in Birmi village to the kin of the 1965 Indo-Pak war martyr, which had led to confrontation between villagers and the administration, the issue was resolved to a large extent when a court of Sub-Divisional Magistrate ordered cancellation of the allotment.

Coming down heavily on officials who had allotted the land to the martyr without caring about the sentiments of the villagers, who were forced to stage hunger strikes, the court of SDM Dr Indu ordered that action should be taken against the erring officials.

The plea of the villagers, many of them Muslims, that they had laid their ancestors to rest on the land, besides children who had died young, was upheld by the court. The SDM also ruled that the fact that bones had been found while digging of the land by the martyr’s family supported the argument.

She said the officials while making the allotment did not take into account the ground realities that a martyr's kin should not have been allotted a burial-cum-cremation ground for the sacrifice made by a family member.

The orders have rejoiced villagers, but the martyr's family, who waited for 41 years to get a piece of land, would now have to wait even longer.

Dr Indu said the martyr’s family would be given another piece of land by the government.

The controversy had begun in August when the family members of an Indian soldier, who had laid down his life at Khalra border in Amritsar district fighting the Pakistan army, struggled to get a promised piece of land.

When the Union Government finally relented, the family was ironically given 2.75 acres of land, which was part of a burial ground, at Birmi village here.

Though the district Revenue Department gave the possession of the land to the family once, they had to withdraw the order when villagers went up in arms against them.

The village panchayat had also moved a resolution alleging that the land allotment was wrongfully done.

The panchayat had further alleged that the allottees and their companions had dug up the graves of their ancestors as well as of some minor children buried recently.



Woman, son living with HIV
Doc faces charges of transfusing infected blood
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
For Surinder Singh (name changed) of a village near Khanna happiness over the birth of a baby boy was stillborn as he came to know that a doctor had allegedly transfused HIV infected blood into his wife during pregnancy. His son, who is two and a half years old now, got HIV even before birth. And now he and his wife are living under constant mental agony.

The worst part of the tragedy is that Surinder and his wife are bearing it all alone, without being able to tell about it to their near and dear ones or neighbours, lest they may be pronounced outcasts.

The guilty doctor, who allegedly transfused blood into his wife, did not test it. Moreover, she did not have an authorised blood bank in her nursing home. She is already facing criminal charges. Surinder Singh has file a case against her in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

According to Surinder Singh, his wife was a patient of the Bhullar Nursing Home and Hospital during pregnancy. In the fourth month of her pregnancy, she went to the nursing home for a routine check up, when Dr (Ms) Bhullar advised her to undergo blood transfusion of at least four units of blood urgently.

Surinder Singh donated blood himself and arranged three other donors. He said his wife was given blood without conducting prior tests for various infections and viruses. After she was given blood she suffered from jaundice. In the ninth month of her pregnancy, she went to another hospital, where tests revealed that she had contracted HIV.

As a natural course, Surinder Singh immediately got himself checked up for HIV but he tested negative. He also got the blood samples of other three donors tested. One of the donors, Sukhbir Singh, tested positive for HIV. Surinder Singh maintains, “It is clear that my wife got HIV from the blood of Sukhbir, which obviously was not tested for the virus before it was given to her”.

With tears rolling down his eyes, he said, “The criminal negligence on the part of the doctor has shattered our entire family life. My wife has tested positive for HIV. My son got HIV even before he was born. My son is now two and a half years old. This all has devastated our lives”.

Hoping against hope, Surinder Singh, who is working in a private company, has been meeting the expenses of expensive drugs the hard way. “I do not mind the expenses, but the thought that there is no cure for HIV keeps haunting me”, he said dejectedly.

An FIR has already been registered against the doctor following an inquiry by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Ludhiana. The SSP, Ludhiana, had asked the IMA to conduct an inquiry. 



Virbhadra invites industry
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said industrialists should consider the hilly state as their dream destination since it would continue to have surplus power for the coming 100 years.

In the city to participate in the Lord Jagannath yatra here this noon, Mr Virbhadra Singh said on the completion of scores of hydel projects in the coming years, Himachal Pradesh would be the only state with enough power to meet the needs of its domestic and commercial users. “We already enjoy the power surplus status tag, which will be further consolidated,” he pointed out.

The Chief Minister said they had been receiving several tempting proposals from big corporate houses, but they had turned these down in view of the delicate ecology of the hills and to maintain its pristine glory. “I am clear that the number one industry of my state will always be tourism. We are concentrating on this sector and want to create world class facilities so that a record number of domestic and foreign tourists visit the state,” he said.

Countering the propaganda of Punjab and Haryana that his state was being given special economic packages at their cost, he said only certain specific industries like pharma had shifted base to Himachal. “I am yet to come across any major business house that have shifted lock, stock and barrel. In most cases, they have set up additional units to augment their existing facilities,” he added.

Mr Virbhadra Singh said it was wrong for other states to protest on this issue since Himachal had just begun to get concessions long after many other states had received such largesse from the Centre. It was now our turn along with states like Jammu and Kashmir and the north-east, he added.

However, he admitted that the concessions had been a big draw and so far outside investment had crossed Rs 24, 000 crore and was fast rising. “We are also creating more infrastructure so that no industry shifts outside in the coming years”, he added.

Scotching speculation that he was going in for early polls, he said the elections would be held on time. It’s just that my tours across the state were being misconstrued as election related activity by the Opposition, he pointed out

In reply to a query, he said anyone could purchase land in the state for residential purposes. The sole exception was agriculture and there was no plan to lift this ban in the near future, he said.



Rs 50,000 fine slapped on marriage palace owners
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 18
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Moga, has fined a sum of Rs 50,000 to the owners a marriage palace at Moga for not honouring the agreement made with NRI family to organise the marriage function.

Rajinder Kaur, wife of Balraj Singh Dhillon, a Moga resident, in a complaint to the forum stated that Dhawan Palace was booked for solemnising the marriage of Ramandeep Kaur, daughter of her brother-in-law on December 24, 2005.

Settlement was made to pay the cost for food according to the menu at Rs 240 per person.

A sum of Rs 40,000 was agreed to be paid on account of Rs 33,000 as food charges and Rs 7,000 for the use of the main hall.

Accordingly, invites were printed for the marriage and sent to the guests on December 22, 2005.

However, the complainant alleged that the marriage palace owners informed them that they had booked the main hall with another party and offered them the mini hall instead.

The complainant and her family refused to hold the marriage in the mini hall and insisted on using the main hall but the palace owners expressed their helplessness.

As a result, the aggrieved party had to hire another marriage palace, and pay Rs 35,000 as hall charges and Rs 1.15 lakh for food.

The complainant alleged that this had not only resulted in monetary loss but also dented their reputation besides causing mental agony.

The complainant sought a compensation of Rs 2 lakh - Rs 1 lakh each on account of suffering loss due to dishonouring of the pact and compensation for causing mental agony.

The consumer court comprising president J.S. Chawla and members S.S. Gill and T.K. Virk directed the owners of Dhawan Palace to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation and cost of litigation to the complainant within 15 days.

They also observed that the complainant had suffered loss to her reputation and financial loss to the tune of Rs 11,0000 while arranging the alternative marriage palace.

This is stated to be first-of-its-kind case decided by a consumer court in Punjab.



Goods worth lakhs pile at rly station
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Thanks to insufficient arrangements by the railway authorities, hosiery goods worth lakhs of rupees are piled up at the local railway station, causing heavy losses to manufacturers.

Hosiery manufacturers and traders are a troubled lot as factors like insufficient storage space and delays, particularly at the peak of the season, are acting as trade barriers.

On account of piling up of stocks, chances of goods being destroyed cannot be ruled out. The situation is worsened by the fact that a large number of traders are opting for private agents who assure that goods would be loaded in respective trains if a trader makes them a certain payment.

"Time and again we have been requesting the railway authorities to create additional storage space, but nothing has been done so far. During the peak season when the department should be happy with the rise in revenue, traders find themselves helpless. Their goods are kept in the open and many times are even destroyed. In the past, cases of theft too came to light but no concrete action has been taken in this regard," rued Mr Navin Sood, president, Ludhiana Hosiery Association.

A visit to the local railway station is a vivid picture of the prevailing chaos where private agents rush to load stocks on the arrival of trains and far supercede the number of railway employees engaged in the job. Private rehris and rickshaws are a common sight at the station.

"Measures like proper storage and increase in number of bogies should be taken. Sadly, the department does not seem to be worried", he said.

Manufacturers say they are left with no other option than to go to agents because it makes the job of sending goods easier.

"A large number of entrepreneurs are opting for road transport due to these problems. If the Railways improve their infrastructure, businessmen will prefer as it is the fastest mode with the maximum reach and is safer in comparison to other modes of transport," said another hosiery dealer.

Official sources in the Railway Department disclosed that the daily revenue on account of peak season has increased to over Rs 3 lakh. 



Yuva Khatri Sabha formed
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 18
A meeting of the Khatri Sabha was held at Gobindgarh Club here today. Dr Man Mohan Kaushal, unit president, presided over it.

The members decided to form a Yuva Khatri Sabha to strengthen the organisation.

Sabha patron Seth Kanhaiya Lal, general secretary Naresh Dhir, cashier Davinder Kumar and other members decided to launch a campaign against the social evils of female foeticide and drug addiction.

The following were elected office-bearers of the Yuva Khatri Sabha: president - Narinder Bhatia; general secretary - Vikas Dhir and cashier - Deepak Sagar.



Sea of humanity at Jagannath Yatra
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Thousands of devotees took part in Jagannath Rath Yatra here today.

The yatra started from Durga Mata Temple, near Jagraon bridge, in the afternoon and covered the bedecked Rakh Bagh road, Fountain Chowk, Ghumar Mandi and Ferozpore road.

The devotees chanted mantras all the way to Durga Mata Temple, Sarabha Nagar, where the yatra culminated.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh gave a formal start to Yatra. Hundreds of prominent religious, social societies of the city organised “chhapan bhog”, “Maha Aarti” and “bhandara” all along the route of the yatra.

The rath was pulled by thousands of devotees amids chanting of religious hymns.

The roads were decorated with buntings and flowers. The yatra has become an annual feature in the city.



Nishkam ashram gets custody of infant
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
After much dilly-dallying, an infant found abandoned near Macchiwara 10 days ago, was finally handed over to the Nishkam Seva Ashram here late this evening.

This comes after media enquiries into the controversy surrounding the possession of the infant with the SGB Children’s Home and the local Chief Medical Officer’s office locking horns over the custody of the abandoned girl, as the latter was not willing to pass on the girl to the authorised home despite a communication by the District Social and Security Officer.

The seven-day-old girl, who was found when she was just a few hours old from Garhi Tarkhana village, near Macchiwara, was kept at the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, even as the Children Home activists kept making rounds of the CMO’s office to get her custody but to no avail.

“While the District Social Security Officer had allowed us to take the girl to our adoption centre at Daad village, as our organisation is an authorised agency to give shelter to such children, the CMO told us that he would get the girl adopted himself to some responsible persons and would not pass her on to them,” said Kulbir Singh, an activist of the Children Home.

“He told me that I should either get a letter from the Deputy Commissioner or not approach him for the custody of the girl,” he added.

Dr Jagdeep Singh, Director of SGB Children Home, said they were the authorised agency for such children and could claim anybody who was abandoned.

The girl was found on November 7 by some farmers near the fields.

They had informed the Macchiwara police, which shifted her to the Civil Hospital there.

From there, the girl was shifted to the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, where the staff took care of her.



Drizzle brings chill
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgah, November 18
Mild rain last night followed by a drizzle during the day today made people wear warm clothes. Mothers of school going children searched for woollens of their wards who started for school early this morning.

Abrupt change in weather coincided with the implementation of official orders of the Punjab Police to its staff to start wearing winter uniform.

Though the authorities at the local police station had received orders regarding winter uniform from November 15, they seemed to have complied with the orders today when the majority of policemen were seen dressed in dark uppers.

A sudden dip in the mercury was noticed by residents, who go on a morning walk regularly. Though they were not aware of the mild rain during the night, the wet roads suggested that the day would be cooler today.

“Though we had been expecting a fall in temperature, sky during the evening on Friday did not suggest that it would be so cool today,” commented Mr Dharam Pal Sharma, adding that temperature would further register a dip in the days to come.

Ms Kamla Devi Sharma, Director, Sanatan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, called upon the parents of the students hailing from far off villages to ensure that their wards wore warm clothes.



Renal transplant patient needs help
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 18
Mr Satish Lal (48), a resident of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, had come to Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here after being afflicted with severe renal failure. For several months he was undergoing peritoneal dialysis which he could barley afford. During his prolonged life-saving treatment, he was being assisted by various philanthropists of the area.

Being unable to work and support his family during the period of dialysis, he was advised to undergo renal transplantation which brought him to the CMCH. The son of the patient, after intensive investigations, was found to be most suitable to donate a kidney and the renal transplantation was performed on Satish Lal on October 17.

According to doctors attending on the patient, due to various other medical conditions, his hospital stay became prolonged and rather unaffordable for the family after transplantation.

Satish Lal was working as an electrician before the illness, but had to discontinue work because of poor health. The only source of income for the family was from the wife of the patient, but at this stage she also had to stay back home to take care of her husband.

Dr Basant Pawar, Head, Department of Nephrology,CMCH, said the hospital was trying to help him as much as possible, but philanthropists and other voluntary bodies could also lend a helping hand to the patient and his family members to ameliorate their suffering.

Those willing to offer financial assistance to the patient could send their cheques or demand drafts, made in favour of 'C.M.C., Ludhiana Society' for the treatment of Satish H.Lal and send the same to Dr Basant Pawar, Head, Department of Nephrology, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana-141008. All assistance would be acknowledged.



99 get ownership of plots 
Our Correspondent

Amloh, November 18
The Punjab Government has created history in the state by allotting residential and garbage plots to landless people in villages irrespective of their caste, said Parliamentary Secretary Home, Justice and Sainik Welfare Sadhu Singh Dharamsot.

He stated this at a function organised to hand over the ownership documents to the beneficiaries at the grain market here today.

As many as 64 families of Shamspur village and 35 of Dhangheri village under the Amloh police station were given plot ownership documents for five-marla houses and two-marla garbage storage space.



Murder of maid: suspect held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Yuvraj Singh, son of a sales tax officer, has allegedly murdered a maid servant Suman after she resisted his advances and allegedly tried to rape her in Green Field colony.

The accused, who is a law student, had allegedly thrown the body near Sidhwan canal after committing the crime on Wednesday. Mallu Ram, the husband of the victim along with other relatives had been searching for her since then.

The body was recovered last evening. The police on the basis of its investigation arrested Yuvraj Singh.

He has been booked under Section 302 of the IPC.



Cop held with poppy husk

Ludhiana, November 18
Mohan Lal, Head Constable, posted on duty with a SP rank officer in the city, was arrested on the charge of possessing poppy husk here today.

The SP City, Mr Rakesh Aggarwal, told mediapersons that 3 kg of poppy husk was seized from him near the railway station. He was bringing the contraband from some supplier. — TNS



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |